Non NASCAR Weather News

Isaac Spaghetti Model

2012 Tropical Storm Isaac: Expected To Become A Hurricane Eyeing Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama Coasts


As of 5 pm EDT the National Hurricane Center had tropical storm Isaac with winds sustained at 60 mph and gusts near 70 mph. Hurricane warnings have been issued for the Southeastern coast of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and western tip of the Florida Panhandle. There are tropical Storm warnings in effect for western Florida coast. Satellite image has been showing signs of strengthening and once Isaac clears the Florida keys and enters the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico it will begin to strengthen.

There’s still some disagreement amongst the computer models on where Isaac will make landfall. The models spread from the Alabama/Florida boarder to the central Louisiana coast. The models cluster along the eastern Louisiana coast and western Mississippi this is similar to where the National Hurricane Center has Isaac making landfall along the Louisiana/Mississippi boarder on Wednesday morning as a category 2.

Dr. Jeff Masters from has a good discussion Isaac’s potential intensity:

The HWRF model continues to be the most bullish on Isaac’s potential intensity, forecasting the storm to reach category 3 status. The GFDL is more reserved and suggest Isaac will only reach strong category 1 wind speeds before making landfall. Given current observations, the National Hurricane Center has backed off the previous forecast that Isaac will intensify to hurricane status around the Florida Keys. They now expect Isaac to remain at tropical storm status as it moves through the central Gulf of Mexico before finally strengthening as it approaches the coast and become a category 2 hurricane just before landfall.

From all I am seeing I have a growing concerned about another hurricane hitting or impacting New Orleans. My friend and avid tropical weather blogger Brendan Loy who first sounded the alarm about Katrina and New Orleans 7 years ago is sounding the alarm this time that action could and should be taken in preparing New Orleans for another devastating hurricane.

It appears from a press conference earlier today in New Orleans that the mayor says they will “Shelter in place” as New Orleans is under a Hurricane Warning.

Given the look of the look at the models I share Brendan’s concern that anyone currently under a hurricane warning should take this storm serious and prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

“For the moment, I’m very concerned that the New Orleans government is again revealing itself to be completely incompetent and not up to the task — and is making itself dependent on the vagaries of atmospheric fate. In other words, Landrieu had better hope he’s lucky, and the storm goes elsewhere (which it may), or doesn’t get as strong as it clearly could (but might not). Landrieu paid lip service to the idea of “preparing for the worst” — but, categorically, he is not advising his residents to do that. He’s advising them to prepare for a mid-range scenario, not the best case but certainly not the realistic worst case.



As a reminder of that worst case, here’s a quartet of computer model maps, showing the forecasts by four of the most reliable models. Both the GFS (top right) and the HWRF (bottom left) would be very bad for New Orleans.”

Isaac’s Impact on Next Weekend’s NASCAR Race?:

The number one question I’ve been getting on Twitter is, “How will Isaac impact NASCAR at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend?” Until we know where and when Isaac will make landfall we won’t know where it goes after that. Some models take Isaac north into the Midwest where they desperately need the rain and a few move it into Georgia Thursday night/ Friday morning. I will continue to monitor.


Weatherpersons Day

Today is National Weatherperson’s Day


We’ve already celebrated one weather related holiday, Groundhog day where we wait with bated breath for a large rodent to tell us what the rest of the winter holds. Today, February 5th is National Weatherman’s Day where we celebrate real people, meteorologist and weatherpersons, who work hard to try and accurately predict the often fickle weather. Despite major technological advances and supercomputers, forecasting the weather is still a tricky, and ever changing business.

Sometimes the criticism is more challenging than the forecast. We get used to it. Weather is not an exact science and no matter how much we are right and sometimes wrong there will always be someone who isn’t happy with the forecast or the weather.

According to the Air Force News, Weatherman’s Day “commemorates the birth of John Jeffries, one of America’s first weathermen”. Jeffries was born on Feb 5, 1745. He kept weather records from 1774 to 1816.

But Jeffries was more than a weather observer or “weatherman” he was a Boston physician, and you can read some interesting history about the man in the link provided, if you like. Dr. John Jeffries: physician, Loyalist, aeronaut.

So lets try to keep the criticism to a minimum today and be nice to your local weather person and meteorologist. From my experience most of you are very kind and have good sense of humor so I want to thank you.

Today would also be a good day to appreciate those who observe the weather and I want to thank those that take time to be part of local SkyWarn, Storm Chasers, and Weather Watchers. Thank You…


2011 Bristol Motor Speedway Weather Forecast: Truck Race, Dry Weekend & Irene


Click here for the Latest Forecast

Conditions in Bristol, TN:
Click here for Current Weather ConditionsLook at Doppler Radar | Mobile Friendly Site | Mobile Radar

Complete Broadcast Schedule From

Bristol, TN

THU Aug 25 FRI Aug 26 SAT Aug 27 SAT NIGHT Aug 27

Sun & clouds, chc. of storm Mostly sunny Mix of Sunshine & clouds Variably cloudy
High: 87
Low: 63
High: 88
Low: 65
High: 85
Low: 66
Temp: near 80


Here’s a look at what you can expect for tonight’s Camping World Truck Race at Bristol.

4:30 p.m EDT
Truck Qualifying – Clouds and Sun – temp: 86
8:00 p.m EDT
Truck Race – Mostly clear – temp: 80

There are no scheduled events on the track for Thursday but the forecast is warm with a mix of sunshine and clouds possible isolated to scattered storms in the afternoon.

The rest of the weekend looks dry. Friday features mostly sunny skies with highs in the mid to upper 80s. Few more clouds likely on Saturday as highs again are in the upper 80s. Temperatures will be in the upper 70s for most of the Sprint Cup race Saturday night.

9 a.m EDT
Nationwide Final Practice – Mostly sunny – temp: 71
12 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Practice – Mostly sunny – temp: 81
2:45 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Final Practice – Mostly sunny – temp: 86
3:40 p.m EDT
Nationwide Qualifying – Mostly sunny – temp: 86
5:00 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Qualifying – Mostly sunny – temp: 86
7:30 p.m EDT
Nationwide Race – Patchy clouds – temp: 80

7:30 p.m EDT
Sprint Cup Race – Dry, variably cloudy – temp: 79


Here are a couple of very good resources for coverage and information Hurricane Irene which is now a major hurricane (Category 3 or greater):
Wunderground Blog by Dr. Jeff Masters (I read his blog a lot during Hurricane Season) | National Hurricane Center | Skeetobite Weather | Charleston, SC Meteorologist WXBrad | AccuWeather Meteorologist Jesse Ferrell | Hurricane Spaghetti Models |

Interesting, and possible good news, as some of the models continue to turn Irene more and more out to see with just a glancing blow to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. If I am in NC or even into the Mid-Atlantic coast of New Jersey, Delaware, Long Island, NY and up into New England I would still be preparing for a hurricane.

Satellite image of Irene is starting to take on that classic hurricane look with a eye beginning to form. It will remain over prime conditions for continued strengthening and is forecasted to reach category 4 strength over the next 24 hours.

Forecast is good over the next 3 days but then differ on when it makes a turn to the north. Some models want to bring it along the coast in the Mid Atlantic while others keep the strongest of the winds off the coast over the waters as it makes a turn to the north and then northeast. It will continued to be monitored. If you live along the coast from South Carolina all the way up to Massachusetts you need to monitor and make plans and arrangements just in case.

Please follow me on Twitter @NASCAR_WXMAN for the latest Weather updates during the race.


2011 Bristol Motor Speedway Weather Forecast and Hurricane Irene


Click here for the Latest Forecast

Conditions in Bristol, TN:
Click here for Current Weather ConditionsLook at Doppler Radar | Mobile Friendly Site | Mobile Radar

Complete Broadcast Schedule From

Bristol, TN

WED Aug 24 THU Aug 25 FRI Aug 26 SAT Aug 27 SAT NIGHT Aug 27

Mostly sunny Sun & clouds, chc. of storm Mostly sunny Mix of Sunshine & clouds Variably cloudy
High: 89
Low: 60
High: 87
Low: 63
High: 87
Low: 65
High: 86
Low: 66
Temp: near 80


EDITORS NOTE – Forgot the Truck Race was Wednesday night so I added the forecast…

It’s early in the week but the forecast currently looks good as we head into the weekend. There is a chance of storms on Thursday but most is dry and should remain dry going into the weekend but like most forecasts expect small tweaks and changes.

The biggest question I have  been asked on Twitter is will Irene cause problems for the Saturday night race. As you can see above I have variably cloudy skies and no rain. You can get more information on Hurricane Irene from the National Hurricane Center

Most trends with Irene take it right along the coast and have it making landfall along the coast of South and North Carolinas Saturday afternoon and into Sunday morning. I don’t think the precipitation shield with this storm will make it to Bristol BUT it isn’t completely out of the question. Like I said with the forecast, “expect changes” and Irene could be a wild card in this weekend’s forecast, but honestly I think Bristol is too far west to be impacted by the storm.

To those who visit my site frequently, how interested would you be if I covered more tropical weather even when it isn’t affecting a NASCAR race? Just let me know your thoughts in my comment section.

Please follow me on Twitter @NASCAR_WXMAN for the latest Weather updates during the race.

Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami


(Energy map associated with the 8.9 quake in the Pacific)

I know like me many of you have been clued to the coverage of this magnitude 8.9 quake that shook northern Japan and then caused a devastating tsunami.

A tsunami forms when a strong earthquake like we saw in Japan and rubs against plates. The plates in this part of the world (unlike California, where the slide against each other) go over and under each other. When pressure finally break you get the crust violently displacing upwards and this causes the massive wave.

The tsunami was worst in Japan cause it was getting the full force of the displaced water. As the wave moves away it does get smaller but we are still talking about the potential of a 3 to 6 feet rise in water up and down the west coast and Alaska.

As I write this it is 7:30am PST (10:30am EST) places like Oregon and Washington will soon start to experience the water rise.

Keep in mind when you hear “wave” it is not like the waves we typically see along the shore of the Great Lakes or even the ocean on any given day. These are waves or almost a surge of water. It appears these tsunami waves are coming in waves, where there will be rises and falls and rises and fall an oscillation as the ripple finally makes it to shore.

Along the west coast I wouldn’t expect damage to be high like they saw in Japan but no one really knows what a wave like this can do.

I have already seen comments about solar flares and the moon. I am not versed enough on answering those on my own so before I can comment I will have to do some research and would welcome any links to sites that explain what you are seeing. We will keep you updated and if you have any questions we will do our best to answer them. This is more of a geological event than weather but if we don’t know we will find the answers.

BBC Japan Quake News, Photos & Videos

BBC Wave Map

BBC Why Was the Wave So Big?


Major Winter Storm Impacts a Large Part of the United States


Winter Storm warnings stretch from Texas, through Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York to Vermont with Winter Storm Watches stretching into Maine and Blizzard warnings for Missouri and Illinois. This storm will impact a large area of the United States. It is not only for snow but many locations will also see ice.

In my professional opinion of all the winter types of precipitation ice is the worst of them all. Ice can cause massive power outages. It only takes a glaze of about a quarter of an inch of ice to weigh down power lines causing them to sag and break. Not to mention the glaze of ice it puts down on area roadways. When it comes to an “Icy Mix” there are two types, sleet and freezing rain. Sleet is not as bad and doesn’t coat power lines. Sleet is more of an ice pellet. Freezing rain on the other hand is what we all think of when it comes to an ice storm. Freezing rain actually falls through the atmosphere as a liquid only to go through a very shallow layer of air at or below freezing. This layer is so shallow and so thin the water doesn’t have time to refreeze until it makes contact with items in this below freezing layer like cars, houses roads and power lines. This is a major concern for those in Oklahoma, Missouri, Southern Illinois, into Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania including the cities of Oklahoma City, St Louis, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus and Pittsburgh. Everything else to the north looks to be in the form of snow.

Of course winter weather is not the only concern with this storm, but also a threat of severe storms in the south and into the southeast. This storm as you can see will have a wide range of impact and if you are under any of these advisories, watches or warnings please listen to local media outlets for the latest weather information specific for your area. I will pass along any and all interesting weather I find but I can not forecast and update every location. Especially since I will be working a lot since here in western NY we could see anywhere from 10 to 15 inches of snow if not more.

Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Get Another Major Snow Storm


The same storm system that brought several inches of snow and ice that caused extensive power outages, travel delays, state of emergencies all across the southeastern part of the United States, along with the storm system that brought extensive amounts of snow across the US Plains and Midwest will merge Tuesday night to bring a large swath of snow across the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

For large parts of New York and Pennsylvania a general 3 to 6 inches of snow will fall across the region. Some location will see more due to location and stronger embedded bands. The true beast of this storm will occur overnight into early Wednesday morning when a new storm develops off the coast of New Jersey and then continues to rapidly strengthen as it moves up into New England.

The above graphic is from – this is a pretty good estimate and forecast of what people in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast should see once this storm passes Thursday evening. If you live in western New York like I do then you can get an idea of what my station and fellow meteorologist are thinking in our News 8 Weather Blog. We pretty much agree with the assesment of 3 to 6 inches with more snow likely along the shorelines of Lake Ontario thanks to lake enhancement and eventually lake effect snow showers going into Thursday.

For the rest of the Northeast from New York City, up into Boston if you have travel plans to or through those locations I would be prepared and anticipate flight delays and even cancellations. A foot or more of snow is likely through a good chunk of coastal New England and even possible for NYC with 6 to 12 inches possible there. Let’s just hope NYC can handle this snow better than they did the post Christmas Blizzard of 2010.

Currently there are numerous Winter Weather Advisories posted through out the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic with winter storm warnings issued for those closes to the center of the storm through New Jersey, Eastern NY and up through New England. There are even a few Blizzard warnings posted for coastal Massachusetts. For the definitions of what a Winter Weather Advisory, Winter Storm Warning and Blizzard Warnings are check out this specially made page here on

Strange Weather News


The first story come out of Abu Dhabi. Apparently scientists there created 52 artificial rain storms in the desert this past summer. This now not so secret project to control the weather in the Middle East cost 11 million dollars. It involved putting ionizers that looked like lampshades out in the desert. These ionizer created negatively charged ions that rose with the hot air, attracted dust. Then any moisture in the air would then stick to the dust (these kind of aerosol particles are needed to create clouds). The moisture condensing onto the dust particles would form clouds, lots of clouds that would later rain out.

Obviously bringing rain to a desert where rain is hard to come by makes sense if you want to make crops and not rely on outside sources for food. Of course many people could think of a lot of ways to use weather modification. I have said this numerous times on this blog, I am not a fan of weather modification. There are just things we should leave alone and this would be one of them. When you start trying to control what I consider the uncontrollable bad things can happen even though I understand a lot of the why’s behind doing it.

Of course the other story may or may not have anything to do with weather, although it has been used as a possible theory. From Arkansas to Louisiana thousands of red-winged blackbirds have fallen from the sky just days apart. This on top of 100,000 fish over a 20-mile stretch of the Arkansas River near a dam in Ozark , 125 miles west of where the birds fell dead. The fish were discovered on Dec. 30.

It appears that the cause of death in Arkansas for the birds is currently being ruled due to stress:

“Loud noises were reported shortly before the birds began to fall from the sky,” the commission’s statement said, adding that blackbirds seldom fly at night. “The blackbirds were flying at rooftop level instead of treetop level” to avoid explosions above, according to Karen Rowe, an ornithologist with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. “Blackbirds have poor eyesight, and they started colliding with things.”

The reason that I mention this as a weather story is that there was severe weather in the area on New Year’s Eve. So the loud sound could have been from thunder. Many have discounted thunder because the storms had moved out of the area but thunder and lightning can continue and be heard even after a storm passes. That’s why they tell people to wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike before going outside.

The same occurrence took place on Monday in Louisiana. Again it was red-winged black birds that were found littering the ground and their death a mystery. What are your thoughts on why this happened. Is it natural or something more. I am waiting for someone to claim HAARP.

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